Idaho Deputy Attorney General Kenneth K. Jorgensen on Wednesday filed an appeal on behalf of the state on the May 12 decision by First District Judge Barbara Buchanan to dismiss a charge of second-degree murder against Dr. Daniel Moore.
Moore had been accused of the March 12, 2020, shooting death of fellow chiropractor Dr. Brian Drake, killed by a single shot fired through his Bonners Ferry office window as he was talking to his wife on the phone after finishing work for the day.
Defense attorney Jill Bolton made motion to dismiss April 14, contending that magistrate judge Justin Julian based his findings on probable cause solely on inadmissible evidence.
Buchanan upheld that contention.
“Because this Court has found that Moore’s statements were involuntary and in violation of his right to an attorney, Moore’s incriminating statements were not admissible at his preliminary hearing,” she wrote. “Therefore, there is no admissible evidence in the record to establish that Moore committed the crime for which he stands charged.”
It was one of a few of Buchanan’s decisions in the case that Boundary County prosecutors questioned during the course of the case, which laid the basis for the state’s decision to appeal it directly to the Idaho Supreme Court.
“We strongly disagreed with the basis for Judge Buchanan’s decision to dismiss, and we raised that concern with the attorney general’s office,” prosecutor Andrakay Pluid said. “We had earlier raised an objection with her motion to suppress, particularly in that she characterized Dr. Moore’s confession as involuntary. While there was a violation of his Miranda rights, we contend the confession was voluntary, which would have allowed the confession to be used for impeachment purposes during trial. We raised the issues with the AG’s Office, and they decided to file the appeal.”
“Did the district court erroneously conclude that the defendant’s statements, taken in violation of Miranda, were involuntary, thus preventing their use for any purpose at trial, and therefore the state lacked probable cause to charge Moore with murder?” Jorgensen wrote as his preliminary statement on the issue of the state’s appeal.
Following the process, the Supreme Court can uphold Buchanan’s decision, ruling that she properly applied the law, uphold the state’s appeal and reverse her decision, reinstating the charge against Moore and ordering the judicial process to resume.
If Buchanan’s decision is upheld, it was made without prejudice, meaning charges could be refiled on different aspects of the evidence in hand or on any new evidence that might become available.
Pluid said she is now waiting to see what the Supreme Court justices will decide.
According to a Spokesman Review article today, Moore’s attorney, Jill Bolton, said last week that her client has moved to Bonner County and that he is planning to file suit against the state for wrongful charges.